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PUCK MAGAZINE: THE POLITICAL JANUS

puck joseph kepplerJanuary is an appropriate month for this latest post about Puck magazine (1871-1918). Here at Balladeer’s Blog I’ve long made clear my fascination with that political humor magazine. Puck political cartoons – especially from the covers – are still much sought-after and I own a few myself.

The magazine was a German language publication targeted at new arrivals from Europe and the cartoons stood out early on. There is no language barrier to satirical political cartoons, so even Americans who spoke no German could follow the editorial drift of those humorous illustrations. In 1877 Puck began publishing both English AND German language editions.

Here’s a cartoon from its pro-Theodore Roosevelt heyday depicting the wildly different opinions of the bombastic, “rock the boat of political corruption” Teddy Roosevelt. President Trump is a lot like T.R. and his cousin F.D.R. – dangerous to corrupt career politicians.   

theodore roosevelt like donald trump  Continue reading

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Filed under LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, Neglected History, opinion

JUSTICE SOCIETY 12: FOOD FOR THE STARVING

Wonder WomanFor this world which can’t get enough superhero action it’s the very first superhero team in history: the Justice Society of America. FOR PART ONE CLICK  HERE 

I will review the original issue and then detail how I would “script-doctor” the story for modern audiences.

all star 14 betterALL STAR COMICS #14 (December 1942)

Title: FOOD FOR STARVING PATRIOTS

Heroes: WONDER WOMAN (Original), DOCTOR MIDNITE, HAWKMAN (Original), THE SPECTRE, SANDMAN, THE ATOM (Original), DOCTOR FATE, STARMAN, JOHNNY THUNDER

Villains: ASSORTED NAZI MILITARY LEADERS

AtomSynopsis: The Allied Nations recruit the Justice Society of America to deal with another crisis. In this case the problem of hunger, malnutrition and even starvation among many conquered populations in the countries occupied by the Axis Powers.

In the days that follow, the JSA members smuggle food into the occupied nations AND help out underground rebel groups combating the Nazis. They also facilitate several escapes from POW camps and jails for political prisoners.

How I Would Revise It: Continue reading

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ROBERT PLANT AND THE HONEYDRIPPERS: ROCKIN’ AT MIDNIGHT

Balladeer’s Blog’s shoutout to the Stray Cats last weekend prompted some emails asking for similar music. Before running with any more Stray Cats songs I figured I’d first do this quasi-Stray Cats sounding song from Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and his ad hoc band the Honeydrippers in the 1980s.

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ROBERT LUDLUM NOVELS: EIGHTH PLACE

Balladeer’s Blog previously examined my picks for The Top Seven Robert Ludlum Novels. Here’s a look at the novel that would have been in 8th place if I had done his Top Eight. FOR THE TOP SEVEN CLICK HERE 

parsifal mosaic8. THE PARSIFAL MOSAIC (1982)

TIME PERIOD: Early 1980s

Chronologically, this novel was the last Ludlum work that I really enjoyed. I found the Bourne sequels silly and most of his other subsequent works to just be tiresome rehashings of the stories he had written from 1971 to 1982.

As it is, The Parsifal Mosaic itself reuses plenty of elements from other, better Ludlum books but has just enough new touches for it to be a worthwhile read.   

HERO: American Michael Havelock, a Czech-born Intelligence Officer. Havelock’s father was retaliated against by the Nazis in the Lidice reprisal killings, just like Stefan Varak’s character in The Chancellor Manuscript. Also like Varak, Michael Havelock was just a little boy when the Lidice slaughter occurred and he spent weeks on the run in the nearby forests scavenging food and killing Nazi soldiers when he could.

And like Varak, Havelock’s father was targeted because he did covert work for the Allies, so when little Michael was brought in from the cold he was placed with well-to-do British and American families to complete his schooling all the way up through college.

parsifal mosaic 2The now-adult Havelock saw the clear similarities between Nazi and Soviet totalitarianism and in order to oppose the Communists he gravitated to Intelligence work. Michael’s mentor and fellow Czech-American (more on him shortly) had brought him into the State Department, just like Robert Winthrop had brought Brandon Scofield into the State Department in The Matarese Circle

Also like Scofield, Havelock transferred to Ludlum’s fictional Consular Operations, the State Department’s covert arm. From The Matarese Circle we readers know that “Cons Op” as it’s called specializes in defections and in running escape routes from the Iron Curtain countries.

A very high-level defector with a secret agenda outside the typical Cold War machinations will loom large in the unfolding plot.

VILLAIN: An elusive figure or organization code-named PARSIFAL from Wagner’s opera about the Knight named Parsifal (Percival to the English). Parsifal’s conspiracy at first seems limited to fairly minor yet perplexing espionage activities but when all put together the title mosaic reveals a pattern that may trigger an all-out nuclear war pitting the United States, China and the Soviet Union against each other. Continue reading

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DEMOCRAT ATROCITY ROUNDUP: BORDER SECURITY EDITION

With Democrats (Motto: Illegal Immigrants: Right or Wrong!) in Congress and in Hollywood saying “As long as illegal immigration never harms US personally, we’re all for it” it’s time for another Democrat Atrocity Roundup.

International red crossRED CROSS COMPARES THE U.S. – MEXICO BORDER TO A WAR ZONE – Apparently the white collar criminals of the Washington D.C. Swamp are going to wait until Mexican Drug Cartel gunmen are trading shots inside the Alamo itself before they deign to acknowledge the druglord no-man’s land in the American Southwest.

Our STILL unsecured southern border remains a sieve for all illegal comers, even diseased and criminal ones. The Democrats do not care about our friends and loved ones who have been killed, wounded or forced to move as the Cartels slither over from the Narco-State of Mexico.

Victims of Illegal ImmigrantsNor do they care about all the additional crimes committed by repeat deportees who simply re-cross the border. Democrats consider all illegal immigrants to be voters for their political party, either with or without amnesty. AND the party’s big money donors want the flood of illegals to continue so that wages fall, padding their own financial bottom lines. 

Two of the biggest lies Democrats tell about illegal immigration: a) “Illegal immigrants do the jobs Americans won’t do.” No, they do the jobs that pompous snobs and one percenters won’t do. Americans would be quite willing to do those jobs.

And b) Back in the 1990s Democrats claimed NAFTA and similar deals that shaft American workers would provide so many jobs in Mexico that the flood of illegals would stop because those people would find work in Mexico instead of slipping across the border. And needless to say, Democrats said it in their usual condescending, clueless jackass manner. Just like they do EVERY TIME THEY’RE WRONG.

illegal immigration cartoonDEMOCRAT JERRY BROWN, GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA LIKE HIS FATHER BEFORE HIM, PARDONED HUNDREDS OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AS HE LEFT OFFICE. Brown did that so that the poor, delicate little darlings – who had committed multiple ADDITIONAL crimes – would not have to be turned over to the Immigration authorities.

They are now among us and the Democrats do NOT care which of us may die or be raped or otherwise victimized by these repeat offenders. The ONLY thing Democrats care about is assisting illegal immigration. It benefits THEM so to hell with the rest of us, Democrats figure.

And Brown’s successor, Democrat Gavin Newsome, AS HIS FIRST ACT, moved to expand free health benefits to ILLEGALS. 

CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATS ADMIT THEY HAVE NO IDEA IF OR HOW MANY ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS VOTED THERE – That’s why Democrats LOVE “motor voter” registration, so that illegal immigrants can vote for their candidates. For the disgusting details click HERE  Continue reading

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PELOSI AND SCHUMER AND CARVILLE

chuck and nancyLast night privileged white Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi looked like they had been abducted to an undisclosed location and forced to recite propaganda by their captors.

It would almost be funny if not for how callous Democrats continue to be toward the people who have lost loved ones who were killed by illegal immigrants over the years. 266,000 arrests of illegal immigrants the past 2 years alone! (That’s per the Democrat outlet the Washington Post, so the real figure is probably much higher.) 

pelosi sadOne network even brought in James Carville to offer some commentary. If you’re wondering, Carville has spent nearly two decades now just wandering from camera to camera spouting the same 1990s take on politics. I understand that for a fee Carville will even appear in your wedding video to provide perspective on how the nuptials might impact the Clintons. 

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Filed under humor, LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, Neglected History, opinion

SHORT STORY AWARD OF $3,000.00

Yes, it’s that time again! The Master’s Review is running their Winter Short Story Contest and the deadline is January 31st. 

The Winter Short Story Award, a prize that recognizes the best fiction from today’s emerging writers, closes in less than a month. The winning story will be judged by Aimee Bender and awarded $3000 and publication online. All winning stories and any notable honorable mentions will receive agency review. Continue reading

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